Rangers loanee Lewis Mayo says he’s delighted to finally be getting regular game time in his preferred position as he shines for Partick Thistle [RangersTV].
Mayo has been moved around all over the place already during his short career.
Last season, whilst on loan at Dunfermline Athletic, he was used at right-back, as a holding midfielder and latterly at centre-back.
After returning to Ibrox, he was deployed in midfield by Steven Gerrard in a pre-season fixture against the club he would soon join on loan. Thistle.
But Ian McCall was very clear that he wanted Mayo to play in the middle of his defence and he’s used him there consistently this season.
He was briefly deployed at full-back in September but has started 17 Championship and two Scottish Cup matches at centre-back, while he’s also played there in several Scotland U21 fixtures.
Rangers loanee Mayo shining in preferred position
Thistle conceded just three goals in eleven Championship games between early October and mid-December and with Mayo playing a big part in that excellent defensive record, he was arguably the top-performing Rangers loanee at the halfway point of the season.
He says he’s loving the chance to show what he can do at the heart of Thistle’s defence.
“It’s been really good,” said the 21-year-old [RangersTV]. “Last year, I had a strong loan and I learned a lot from it.”
“This year, the big difference is that I’m playing the same position every week and I’m playing my position, which is centre-half. I think that has been really important for me.
“The Championship is a really demanding league. It can be quite unforgiving and for a young player, I think it teaches you really quickly the sort of demands and the focus required to play a high level of men’s football.”
It’s great to see Mayo thriving away from Ibrox and with a number of senior Rangers defenders set to be out of contract in the summer, if he keeps excelling at Thistle, there could be a spot for him in the Gers first-team squad next season.
He’s powerful and likes a tackle but is composed on the ball and will have two full seasons of men’s football under his belt in just a couple of month’s time.
The Gers Academy graduate is contracted to Rangers until the summer of 2023, so he’s essentially guaranteed a chance to impress Gio van Bronckhorst in person during 2022/23 pre-season.